Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country will abolish all single-use plastic by as soon as 2022
The promise is among the most ambitious yet worldwide in the movement of trying to combat plastic pollution. Sixty nations around the world are currently fighting the detrimental effects that plastic has on our environment.
Modi’s decision aims to drastically stem the flow of plastic from the people living in one of the fastest growing economy in the world.
“The choices that we make today will define our collective future,” said Modi on Tuesday. “The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”
The UN released a report on Tuesday that showed dozens of countries acting to cut plastic, which includes a ban on plastic bags in Kenya, on Styrofoam in Sri Lanka and biodegradable bags in China.
For example, in UK, the tax on single-use plastic bags has significantly reduced their use, and ministers also banned microbeads in personal hygiene products. However,
Theresa May’s promise to put an end to “avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042” is strongly criticized as being far too slow.
Each year, millions of tons of plastic find their way into the seas and oceans, chocking whales and other marine animals, mostly in Asia. Moreover, plastic pollution has been found across the globe, affecting our environment in ways that are hard to repair.
Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment wrote in the Guardian on Tuesday: “Let there be no doubt: we are on edge of a plastic calamity.” But he praised India’s initiative:
“They have shown that political motivation, turned into practical action, can inspire the world and ignite real change.”
India has announced a national marine litter action campaign, as well as a programme to measure the amount of plastic that enters the country’s coastal waters. Even more, the nation promises to make 100 national monuments litter-free, including the famous Taj Mahal.
Trust in Modi’s actions comes from his 2014 promise of bringing electricity to the 20,000 that lacked power by 2019. Back in April, he claimed that this promise has been held.